September 22, 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Honda Automobile Customer Service
1919 Torrance Boulevard
Mail Stop: 500 – 2N – 7A
Torrance, CA 90501-2746
Attention: [name elided] at 800-999-1009 ext. [extension elided]
This is a followup to the attached letter which I sent you on August 2, 2013, about which we subsequently spoke by phone.
To summarize my previous letter, the back-lighting for the A/C controller for my 2007 Honda Odyssey (VIN [elided]) had not worked since the vehicle was new. I asked you to cover the cost of fixing the problem, even though my Odyssey is out of warranty, since the problem was present from when the vehicle was new.
On the phone, you told me to bring the Odyssey to a dealership and get an estimate, and then we could discuss further whether Honda might be able to cover part of the cost of the repair.
I had Herb Chambers Honda of Boston (1186 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02134) look at the problem while I was also dealing with a dead battery there. They gave me an estimate (see attached) of $942 plus tax to replace the entire A/C switch panel. This, frankly, is patently absurd, so I went home and did some more research on my own.
I was able to buy a quality, warrantied, used A/C controller on eBay for only $74.99. I was able to install the new controller myself in a half hour. Assuming a 100% markup on the cost of the replacement part and an hour of labor at $60 per hour, Herb Chambers should have been able to do the repair for $209.98, over $700 less than the estimate they tried to gouge me with.
But it’s even worse than that. (more…)